Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Ten years. In so many ways it seems like it cannot be that long ago. In many ways it seems like it was ages ago. I was reminded how our memories can fade when one of my grandchildren asked "9/11. what does that mean?" He was an infant on 9/11. He has no real memory of this event as I have no memory of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Now he is at an age where he will begin to gather others memories of this America changing event. It will become a part of his impression of notable events, a aprt of his history.

For those of us who have very vivid recollections of where we were on that day and what we were doing, I suggest you view an amazing documentary, "102 Minutes That Changed America." A filmaker has recreated the timeline of the attack on the Twin Towers using raw footage from many different sources and angles - much of it is private citizens - with scenes of feet while hearing off camera spontaneous comments. Some of it is hot from nearby apartments, some on the street, some from helicopters and across the river in Hoboken., NJ. It is gritty, unscripted, riveting and gut wrenching.

The greatest power for me was that it encouraged me wander through my own personal memories. There was no talking head to tell me what I should remember. The film and I were alone to recall the the unfolding of the incredulous. The family in the nearby apartment shared my wonder at the plane attack, the second plane, the black smoke and red flames as offices burned and people jumped, firefighters and police trying to make sense of the chaos, one tower down in a huge roiling cloud of dust and debris...and finally the second tower collapse along with hope for a miracle ending. Despite knowing the story I was on pins and needles as each step unfolded just as I was on 9/11/01 thinking it couldn't get worse as it did.

If you have never seen this documentary, please do. Share it with your family and friends. We shouldn't forget, not out of hate or fear, but with knowledge of how a life changing event unfolds and how we struggle to comprehend it. It is a psalm to everyday courage under the seige of the unepected. It is a breath taking look at our history.

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